No city in the world is without its quirks, just as none is without its positives. Jacksonville is no different, and there are a number of pros and cons of living on the First Coast. I’ve spent some time recently asking other residents what they consider to be the pros and cons of Jacksonville, and also browsed through a handful of complaint boards. Here’s what the majority had to say.
This one was overwhelmingly in the pros column but it may find itself in your cons column if you have an affinity for snow.
Jacksonville has a very tropical, warm climate with mild winters. The city hasn’t seen real snow since 1989, and at times in January, you’ll wonder if it isn’t Fall. On the flip side, Jacksonville is incredibly hot and humid during the Summer, which can be overwhelming at times, even for local residents who’ve lived here their whole lives.
Although Florida, in general, has a reputation for being a haven for hurricanes, Jacksonville’s tucked-away location in the northeast corner reduces the likelihood of the city being hit by a hurricane. In fact, the only hurricane to make landfall in Jacksonville was Dora—and that was back in 1964.
No matter where you live in Jacksonville you’re likely not much more than a hop and a skip from miles of beaches. Residents in most areas of the city can reach the beach in less than an hour, depending on traffic.
The city of Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the United States, with 262 designated parks and over 80,000 acres.
Each of the parks brings their own qualities, from the calm peace of the various parks in Riverside to the rich history of Downtown’s Hemming Plaza, the city’s first park.
Sports & Outdoors
Like to hunt or fish? Jacksonville is an outdoor aficionado’s dream, especially compared to other cities its size.
The St. John’s River is very much the lifeblood of the city, and is often used by residents for fishing, boating, and water skiing.
The city is also filled with beautiful golf courses, and the PGA Tour is based in nearby Ponte Vedra, making golf a popular local activity. Jacksonville’s place as an NFL City is also etched in stone with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Low cost of living
Jacksonville regularly makes the list for major cities with a low cost of living. Housing, particularly in some areas, is impressively affordable when Jacksonville is compared to many other cities on the East Coast. The cost of living is not only lower than the U.S. national average, but it’s also lower than Florida average.
Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States by land mass at over 800 square miles. It’s also the 14th largest city by in the US by population and the largest city in Florida. The city of Jacksonville operates the largest urban park system in the US with over 80,000 acres devoted to parks and community areas. Here are some fast facts about Jacksonville, Florida for your next trivia night!
Jacksonville Facts and Trivia
- Jacksonville was known as Cowford until 1822 because cattle were transported across the St. John’s River.
- Although the Great Fire of 1901 was the most destructive event in Jacksonville history, it was not the deadliest. Seven people died in the Great Fire. The most deadly event in Jacksonville history was the Roosevelt Hotel fire in 1961, which killed 22 people.
- Bestselling author John Grisham stays in Jacksonville frequently, usually in the Old Sea Turtle Inn in Jacksonville Beach (now renamed One Ocean Resort). The inn was featured in his novel The Brethren, along with Pete’s Bar, a local establishment.
- The annual Jacksonville Jazz Festival is the second-largest jazz festival in the US. The festival began in 1980. Over the years, performers such as Miles Davis and Tony Bennett have highlighted the event. In 2011, the headliner is Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole.
- Jacksonville was once a haven for filmmakers. It was known as the Winter Film Capital of the World. The city featured more than 30 movie studios and thousands of silent films were made. Due to political pressure, most of them migrated to California.
- Elvis Presley performed his first indoor concert at the historic Florida Theatre in 1957. Presley’s show was monitored by a judge to ensure his hip shaking didn’t get too racy. The King stayed at the Crowne Plaza while in Jacksonville.
- Jacksonville is home to the US’s oldest skate park, Kona Skate park in Arlington. Before becoming famous, Tony Hawk competed at the venue.
- The Dames Point Bridge, which connects Downtown to the Arlington area, is the largest concrete cable-supported bridge in the world.
- Jacksonville is well-known as the birthplace of the Southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, but it’s also produced several other notable performers, including Limp Bizkit, Cold, and Red Jump Suit Apparatus
- Several notable movies have been filmed in Jacksonville, including The Creature from the Black Lagoon, GI Jane, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, The Manurichan Candidate (2004 remake) and The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.
- The historic Riverside-Avondale area was named one of the 10 greatest neighborhoods in the United States in 2010.
- Although Jacksonville has a large population, the surrounding areas are sparse. The city is the smallest television market in the US to host an NFL team.